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STUDY | marbling paper tutorial

We wanted to share our marbling instructions from STUDY: The Sea Issue with you because they are too lovely to keep to ourselves! Two talented ladies in Pennsylvania spent an afternoon making and photographing the process. The blues remind me of crashing waves on old rocks. I can't get enough!  

Enjoy this tutorial and if you happen to be the instagram type, tag us so we can see your lovely work!

*Photography and instructions by Keely Beasley
*Model and artist: Natalie Hotaling

diy marbling paper 
diy marbling paper

Gather Your Materials 

  • Paper of various sizes (cardstock works well)
  • Shallow tray
  • Marbling inks
  • Paint palette or tiny bowls to hold paint
  • Small paint brushes
  • Paper towels or cotton cloths
  • Water
diy marbling paper
  • Fill a shallow tray two-thirds full with water. 
  • Choose two of your ink colors. Place 10 drops of each color into two separate bowls or palettes.
  • Place one brush in each color, allowing the paint to soak up into the bristles.
diy marbling paper
  • Take the first brush and lightly touch the tip of it to the surface of the water. You will see the ink spread out on water’s surface in the shape of a circle. Then take your second brush and touch the surface of the water again at the center of the first circle. Alternate between the two brushes, reloading the brushes with more ink as needed. This is where you can really get creative with the pattern. Drag the end of the paint brush across the surface of the water to create a different pattern.
diy marbling paper
  • Once you’re pleased with the design you have, grab your paper and lightly lay it on the surface of the water. Let the paper sit for 3-5 seconds as the ink soaks into the paper. Carefully lift up paper from the water, letting excess water drip off. Place the paper on a stack of paper towels or cotton cloths to let dry. Gently blot the top of the paper dry. (Once dry, if you find that your paper has curled up, let it sit between some heavy books to flatten.)
diy marbling paper

To make more prints with the same water tray, clean the excess ink from the water’s surface by dragging some newspaper scraps across the water.

For gift tags, we took white scraps of paper and dipped them in the water right after pulling a print out while some of the ink was still on the surface. The remaining ink would marble the bottom edges leaving white space to write your "to" and "from."

diy marbling paper

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